Blessing of same-sex unions in Christian churches
The examples and perspective in this article deal primarily with Western culture and do not represent a worldwide view of the subject. (March 2019) (Learn how and when to remove this template message)
|Part of a series on|
and LGBT topics
The blessing of same-sex marriages and same-sex unions is an issue about which Christian churches are in ongoing disagreement. These disagreements are primarily centered on the interpretation of various scripture passages related to homosexuality, and in some churches on varying understandings of homosexuality in terms of psychology, genetics and other scientific data. While various Church bodies have widely varying practices and teachings, individual Christians of every major tradition are involved in practical (orthopraxy) discussions about how to respond to the issue.
Theological views of those who support same-sex unions and/or marriages
Those Christians and churches which support blessing of same-sex unions do so from several perspectives:
- It is an affirmative good that stands alongside straight marriage and committed monastic celibacy as a revelation of God's self in the world.
- The logical coherence of the core Christian doctrines such as the Trinity, the Incarnation, the Resurrection and the Ascension is improved through the integration of gay marriage into the Christian conception of marriage.
- Our understanding of marriage as a metaphor of Christ's relationship with the Church is strengthened by assimilating gay marriage into that metaphor.
- Some scholars maintain that scripture in the original languages contains no prohibition of homosexuality, but does record same-sex marriage. "But if we take a closer look, reading the scripture in the original Hebrew and Greek, we discover that God never condemned homosexuality, and that same-sex marriage existed in Bible times."  "To tell a homosexual that the Bible is Good News, (but that) it says that their ability to love on a one-to-one basis (mate level) means they are sinful and perverted in God's eyes is a gross contradiction in terms. What's more, God is not saying this to gay people. God's Word is this: For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life. (John 3:16, KJV). And that is the Good News for modern gays." 
- The biblic references to homosexuality were uttered in the context of promiscuous same-sex practices of Hellenistic cultures (Paul) and cultures surrounding the people of Israel (Deut). This kind of sex without love was often practiced in lieu of going to female prostitutes, also by heterosexual men. It is a discriminating misconception of our times to transfer that prohibition of such promiscuous practice without love to what we discuss here: durable, long term, choosy same-sex unions.
Churches favorable to same-sex union and/or same-sex marriage
In 2004, the then Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams, asked the Lambeth Commission on Communion to produce a report looking into the legal and theological implications flowing from decisions related to homosexuality that were apparently threatening the Anglican Communion, including decisions relating to the blessing of same-sex unions. Once published the Windsor Report led to the calling by the Lambeth Commission for a moratorium on the blessing of same-sex unions, and recommended that bishops who have authorised such rites in the United States and Canada "be invited to express regret that the proper constraints of the bonds of affection were breached by such authorisation." The report was roundly condemned by supporters of the gay and lesbian community, as well as by a number of theologians for its partiality. To date, "the more liberal provinces that are open to changing Church doctrine on marriage in order to allow same-sex unions include Brazil, Canada, New Zealand, Scotland, South India, South Africa, the US and Wales".
Anglican Church of Canada
The General Synod of the Anglican Church of Canada in 2004 voted to defer a decision of same-sex blessings until 2007, but also to "Affirm the integrity and sanctity of committed adult same-sex relationships". In 2007, a resolution enabling diocesan bishops to authorize the blessing of same-gender unions narrowly failed, but a statement adopted by General Synod in 2010 "acknowledge[d] diverse pastoral practices as dioceses respond to their own missional contexts,"[need quotation to verify]effectively devolving decisions about blessings to local dioceses.
The Anglican Church of Canada does not distinguish theologically between a marriage solemnized in church and a civil marriage subsequently blessed by a priest. Currently, three dioceses – New Westminster, Niagara, and Montréal – extend the blessing of civil marriages to same-sex couples. Procedures for blessings are in development in Ottawa and Toronto. In 2010 the General Synod of the Anglican Church of Canada voted to study a proposal to bless only those marriages that have been civilly registered, even where marriage is reserved to heterosexual couples, abrogating the role of clergy as delegates of the provincial registrar altogether.
The blessing of same-sex unions became a subject of media attention in the Vancouver area in May, 2003 when Bishop Michael Ingham of the Anglican Diocese of New Westminster announced that he had given priests in some parishes the authority to bless gay and lesbian unions. Bishop Ingham issued a rite of blessing of people in committed same-sex unions on May 23, 2003. This was done in response to requests by three consecutive Diocesan Synods, culminating in June, 2002. The diocese considers that the blessing of same-sex couples is one part of their work of community outreach and care for parishioners. The blessing is a way that some priests use to ensure that homosexual people who seek to be included in the Anglican Communion feel safe and respected. The blessing is a "pastoral tool". Some priests in some parishes (six out of 80) bless permanent faithful relationships. Permission is granted by the bishop only when a priest requests it, and a parish has decided by majority vote, that they want to be a place of blessing. Ingham says of the practice: I insist only that those on all sides of the issue respect one another and that everyone should maintain the order of the church. Our goal in the Anglican Church in the Greater Vancouver area is to be a church that accommodates differences.
In 2009, the Anglican Diocese of Niagara in southwestern Ontario became the second diocese to authorize the blessing of same-sex unions when Bishop Michael Bird approved a gender-neutral rite for the blessing of civil marriages. The rite will be permitted for use in consultation with the diocesan bishop beginning September 1, 2009.
In 2009, the Bishop of the Anglican Diocese of Ottawa authorized the blessing of same-sex unions in a single parish: the Church of St John the Evangelist. Rather than issuing a specific rite, Bishop Chapman authorized an existing rite already in use for the blessing of civil marriages between opposite-sex couples.
In 2010, the Rt Rev'd Barry Clarke, Bishop of the Anglican Diocese of Montreal, authorized the blessing of same-sex unions. He issued a rite and guidelines to permit the blessing of civil marriages regardless of the gender of the spouses. The rite had been adapted from an existing rite already in use for the blessing of civil marriages between opposite-sex couples.
A limited number of parishes in the Anglican Diocese of Toronto have been authorized to bless same-sex unions. Rather than crafting a specific rite of blessing, the Archbishop of Toronto issued guidelines setting rules and restrictions on blessings. Blessings must not resemble too closely a marriage rite, with the specific proviso that no form of blessing used for marriage in the official rites of the Anglican Church of Canada or other parts of the Anglican Communion may be used with same-sex couples.
On July 12, 2016 the General Synod voted in favour of same-sex marriage. The Dioceses of Ottawa and Niagara, which already provide blessing rites, have announced that they will begin allowing same-sex marriages.
Episcopal Church in the USA
At its triennial General Convention in 1976, the Episcopal Church took its first official step toward the "marriage equality" it established thirty-nine years later in its 2015 General Convention as recounted below.
1976. The 1976 General Convention resolved "that it is the sense of this General Convention that homosexual persons are children of God who have a full and equal claim with all other persons upon the love, acceptance, and pastoral concern and care of the Church."
2006. At its 2006 General Convention, the Episcopal Church rejected a resolution allowing the solemnization of same-sex marriages in Massachusetts, where same-sex marriage is recognized by civil law. However, the 2006 General Convention adopted a resolution under the title "Reaffirm Church Membership of Gay and Lesbian Persons." The resolution was in four parts:
- It reaffirmed "that gay and lesbian persons are by Baptism full members of the Body of Christ and of The Episcopal Church as ‘children of God who have a full and equal claim with all other persons upon the love, acceptance, and pastoral concern and care of the Church.’ "
- It apologized "on behalf of The Episcopal Church to its members who are gay or lesbian, and to lesbians and gay men outside the Church, for years of rejection and maltreatment by the Church," and recommit to "seek amendment of our life together as we ask God’s help in sharing the Good News with all people."
- It pledged "to include openly gay and lesbian persons on every committee, commission or task force developed for the specific purpose of discussing issues about sexuality and request the same of our sister churches in the Anglican Communion and Anglican Communion bodies."
- Regarding membership in the Anglican Communion, it reiterated that "our baptism into Jesus Christ is inseparable from our communion with one another, and we commit ourselves to that communion despite our diversity of opinion and, among dioceses, a diversity of pastoral practice with the gay men and lesbians among us."
2009. In July 2009, the General Convention adopted a resolution allowing individual bishops to choose whether or not to allow the blessing of same-sex unions within their dioceses. The resolution was seen as a compromise between those who call for an official rite for the blessing of same-sex unions, and those who oppose any recognition of such unions. However, the resolution also left the door open for the creation of such an official rite in the future, calling on bishops to "collect and develop theological and liturgical resources" for possible use for such a purpose at the 2012 General Convention.
2012. On July 9, 2012, the Episcopal Church passed a resolution approving an official liturgy for blessing same-sex unions. This liturgy, called "The Witnessing and Blessing of a Lifelong Covenant" offers a blessing close to marriage, but the church is clear that it is not marriage. According to Rev. Ruth Meyers, chairwoman of the Standing Commission on Liturgy and Music, "There are a lot of similarities. The couple give their consent to being joined in lifelong commitment, they exchange vows. There’s the possibility of exchanging rings, or, for couples who have been together for some time and already have rings, to have their rings blessed. There is a blessing over the couple. But we’re clear at this point that this is not a marriage because the Episcopal Church is not in agreement in its understanding of marriage." The resolution enables priests to bestow the church's blessing on gay couples even if they live in a state where same-sex marriage is illegal; however, bishops who do not approve of the liturgy can prohibit their priests from using it. The resolution is provisional and will be reviewed in three years.
2015. As the Episcopal News Service reported on the 2015 Seventy-eighth General Convention, "in the wake of the June 26 U.S. Supreme Court ruling legalizing same-sex marriage for all Americans, General Convention followed suit on July 1 with canonical and liturgical changes to provide marriage equality for Episcopalians." A canonical change eliminated "language defining marriage as between a man and a woman" and "two new marriage rites with language allowing them to be used by same-sex or opposite-sex couples." These new marriage rites are to be used "under the discretion and with the permission of the diocesan bishop." Also, "clergy retain the canonical right to refuse to officiate at any wedding."
The two new marriage rites have been made available online without charge by the Church Publishing House. "The Witnessing and Blessing of a Marriage" (Church Publishing House, 2015) and "The Celebration and Blessing of a Marriage 2" (Church Publishing House, 2015)
The General Convention also approved The Witnessing and Blessing of a Lifelong Covenant: Liturgical Resources for Blessing Same-Sex Relationships for "continued use."
In 2013, Church of England indicated that it plans the blessing of same-sex unions. Presently, "the Church of England does not conduct Civil Partnership Ceremonies or Same Sex Marriages but individual churches can conduct a service of thanksgiving after a ceremony." It is, however, forbidden by law to conduct same-sex marriages within its churches. The "church allows same-sex couples to have special prayers after their wedding", but does not allow gay priests to marry. Since special prayers are allowed, congregations have published and offered "Prayers for a Same Sex Commitment" or "services of thanksgiving" for same-sex couples.
For gay clergy, the church does allow civil partnerships. The church has stated, officially, that "The Church of England recognises that same-sex relationships often embody fidelity and mutuality ... Civil partnerships enable these Christian virtues to be recognised socially and legally in a proper framework." While not officially allowed, some gay priests have converted their civil partnerships into legal marriages and have kept their positions.
In 2016, the Archbishop's Council confirmed the following:
- clergy in the Church of England are allowed to enter in same-gender civil partnerships;
- clergy are able to offer prayers in support of same-gender couples;
- churches are able to publicly welcome LGBT people;
- clergy and lay people are allowed to make arguments in favour of changing church doctrine.
In 2017, the Church of England's Diocese of Hereford voted in favor of a motion calling on the church "to create a set of formal services and prayers to bless those who have had a same-sex marriage or civil partnership." The General Synod is set to discuss the issue. At General Synod in 2019, the Church of England announced that same-gender couples may remain and be recognized as married after a spouse has experienced gender transition provided that the spouses identified as opposite genders at the time of the marriage.
The Church of Ireland has facilitated a number of conversations about the subject of homosexuality. In 2002, a vicar celebrated a blessing service for a same-sex couple. In 2008, "the Church of Ireland Pensions Board ha[d] confirmed that it will treat civil partners the same as spouses." In 2011, a senior minister within the church entered into a same-sex civil partnership becoming the first to do so. The Clergy Pension Fund recognized that "the pension entitlement of a member’s registered civil partner will be the same as that of a surviving spouse..." A Church of Ireland report states that "the moral logic underpinning the negative portrayal of same-sex eroticism in Scripture does not directly address committed, loving, consecrated same-sex relationships today". Currently, the church recognizes four main viewpoints ranging from opposition of same-sex unions to full acceptance of same-sex marriage.
In 2015, the General Synod of the Scottish Episcopal Church passed an initial vote which could eventually lead to the formal blessing of same-sex unions. Following that vote, St. Paul's Cathedral in Dundee held a special ceremony which, for the first time, blessed the union of a same-sex couple who had already been married in Dundee's registry office. In 2016, the church general synod voted to amend the marriage canon to include same-sex couples, and on 8 June 2017 it voted to allow same-sex weddings in Scottish Episcopal churches.
The congregation of St Mary's Cathedral, Glasgow, had been active in supporting the change, and 20 July 2017 it was announced that a same-sex wedding was to be held in the cathedral later in the summer, making it the first in the Anglican Communion to hold a same-sex marriage. On 1 August 2017, an American couple with Scottish connections were married, in "a small intimate occasion" which included the Eucharist as a nuptial mass, at the Church of St John the Evangelist, Edinburgh.
Civil partnerships have been permitted for clergy since 2005. Regarding such civil unions, "The Church in Wales has no formal view on whether people in civil partnerships who are in a sexual relationship can serve as clergy. If the issue arises, it is up to the relevant Bishop to decide." The Welsh Church does not require abstinence within civil unions.
In 2015, the Church in Wales discussed same-sex marriages and "more than half of its Governing Body voted in favour of [same-sex marriage]". However, due to the need for a 2/3 majority to amend the marriage canon, the Bench of Bishops decided to approve "a series of prayers which may be said with a couple following the celebration of a civil partnership or civil marriage". The prayers, in Form One, give thanks "for [the partners] who have found such love and companionship in each other, that it has led them to dedicate their lives in support of one another."
For some years, the Anglican Church of Australia has debated the blessing of same-sex marriages.  Currently, the church has no official position on homosexuality. However, due to the church's position on marriage, the Primate and Archbishop of Melbourne, Philip Freier, stated in an ad clerum that clergy cannot perform a same-sex marriage and that "clergy are required to ask their episcopate bishop for guidance as to how to act in specific pastoral circumstances concerning same-sex weddings and celebrations". The Diocese of Wangaratta has voted to bless same-sex civil unions. In 2013, the Diocese of Perth voted in favour of recognising same-sex relationships. The Diocese of Gippsland has appointed an openly gay priest to serve within its parishes. St. Andrew's Church in Subiaco, Perth has blessed a same-sex union. In 2018, Peter McLeod-Miller, an archdeacon, "conducted an unofficial hand-clasping ceremony at [a same-sex wedding]."
Anglican Church in Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia
In 2014, the general synod of the Anglican Church in Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia passed a resolution that will create a pathway towards the blessing of same-sex relationships. In the meantime, while blessing rites are being developed, "clergy should be permitted 'to recognise in public worship' a same-gender civil union or state marriage of members of their faith community."
In the Auckland Diocese, there are congregations that may offer a "relationship blessing" for two partners. In 2005, a same-sex couple was joined in a civil union at St. Matthew in the City in the Auckland diocese. The Dunedin diocese also provides a blessing for the relationship of "two people" irrespective of gender. In the Waiapu Diocese the bishop's chaplain has also performed a blessing for a same-sex couple. In May 2018 the general synod of the Anglican Church allowed blessing of same-sex marriages.
Anglican Church of Southern Africa
Some churches in Africa, "where homosexuals can be legally ordained", "are joining the trend, including the Anglican church in South Africa formerly led by Archbishop Desmond Tutu". The denomination also has no official position on homosexuality. At the same time, in 2016, "Anglican bishops from across southern Africa have resolved that gay and lesbian partners who enter same-sex civil unions under South African law should be welcomed into congregations as full members of the church". In 2016, the Diocese of Saldanha Bay proposed a motion for the "blessing of same-sex civil unions..." While the 2016 motion did not pass, the Diocese of Cape Town tabled a motion urging the bishops "to finalise guidelines on how its leaders should respond to same-sex partnerships of a 'faithful commitment,'..." Archbishop Thabo Makgoba set up, in 2017, a working committee "… to amend Canon 34 which will enable ministry to those in Same Sex Unions and the LGBTI Community in the context in which ACSA operates in Southern Africa."
Priests in Saldanha Bay have stated that they will unofficially bless same-sex unions. The Diocese of Pretoria joined Saldanha Bay in supporting same-sex relationships. Much earlier, in 2009, the Cape Town synod voted to "provide pastoral care to gay and lesbian members in 'faithful, committed' same-sex partnerships."
Episcopal Anglican Church of Brazil
The Episcopal Anglican Church of Brazil permits the ordination of gay and lesbian priests and the blessing of same-sex relationships. In 2016, an Extraordinary Synod drafted a proposal for the General Synod of 2017 to amend the marriage canon to include same-sex marriage. On 1 June 2018 the General Synod voted to change the marriage canon to allow same-sex couples to get married.
Old Catholic, Reformed Catholic Churches and Liberal Catholic Church
Four churches of the Union of Utrecht, which shares full communion with the Anglican Churches through the Bonn Agreement, also permit such blessings: namely, Old Catholic Church of the Netherlands (the mother church) permits blessings of gay civil marriages, and the Christian Catholic Church of Switzerland, and Catholic Diocese of the Old Catholics in Germany permit blessings of homosexual civil unions. The Old Catholic Church of Austria also permits such blessings. Because of this (as well as the ordination of women), the Polish National Catholic Church (USA) seceded from the Union in 2004.
- Evangelical Church in Austria
- Evangelical Lutheran Free Church
- Reformed Church in Austria (since 1998/since 2019 blessing of marriages)
This section does not cite any sources. (July 2011) (Learn how and when to remove this template message)
The Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada has permitted the blessing of same-sex unions since July 2011. The Lutheran Church–Canada does not permit the blessing of same-sex unions. The LC-C stance is consonant with that of its American sister church, the Lutheran Church–Missouri Synod.
The governing council of The United Church of Canada welcomes same-sex marriage, but individual United Church congregations are responsible for making decisions locally. Marriages are performed with the permission and under the responsibility of the local congregation.
In November 2011, the Government of Denmark announced that there will be same-sex religious marriage available in the Church of Denmark as part of the broader legislative move to recognise same sex marriage A similar debate is currently underway in the Church of Iceland following legislation to permit same sex marriage in Iceland.
The Evangelical Lutheran Church of Finland approved special prayers for same-sex couples following a civil union or marriage. The archbishop, who supported the prayers, "called for the church to take a clear and unequivocal stance in support of gay and lesbian couples". Some bishops are willing to ordain gay and lesbian pastors. Marriage is by church law still defined as a union between one man and one woman, changing the law would require a 3/4 majority vote among church council voters.
The United Protestant Church of France performs blessings of same-sex marriages. The Union of Protestant Churches of Alsace and Lorraine allowed blessings of same-sex marriages in November 2019.
All 20 Lutheran, United and Reformed churches within the Evangelical Church in Germany perform blessings of same-sex marriages. On November 9, 2019 Union of Evangelical Churches allowed blessing of same-sex marriages.
- Protestant Church in Hesse and Nassau
- Protestant Church of Bremen
- Protestant Lutheran State Church of Brunswick
- Evangelical Lutheran Church of Hanover
- Evangelical Lutheran Church in Northern Germany
- Evangelical Lutheran Church in Oldenburg
- Evangelical Church of Berlin-Brandenburg-Silesian Upper Lusatia
- Protestant Church of Westphalia
- Protestant Church of the Palatinate
- Evangelical Church in the Rhineland
- Evangelical Church in Central Germany 
- Evangelical Church of Hesse Electorate-Waldeck 
- Evangelical Reformed Church in Bavaria and Northwestern Germany
- Church of Lippe
- Evangelical Church of Anhalt
- Protestant Church in Baden
- Evangelical-Lutheran Church of Saxony
- Evangelical Lutheran Church in Bavaria
- Evangelical-Lutheran Church in Württemberg
- Evangelical Lutheran Church of Schaumburg-Lippe 
In 2013, the Church of Norway allowed blessing of same-sex unions. In a synod-meeting on the 11th of April 2016 the Church of Norway formally allowed same-sex marriages in their churches and announced the commencement of work on a liturgy for same-sex marriages.
The Metropolitan Community Church of Quezon City (MCCQC), Metropolitan Community Church Makati (MCCMPH), and Metropolitan Community Church of Metro Baguio (MCCMB) officiate Holy Unions for same sex partners in the Philippines. The Metropolitan Community Church is an Ecumenical Christian Church for all people, with a special ministry to gays, lesbians, bisexuals and transgender people; it advocates for equality and social justice. Its affiliations in The Philippines are the following: MCC Quezon City, MCC Makati, MCC Metro Baguio, MCC Olongapo, and MCC Marikina.
The Church of Sweden performs blessings of same-sex couples. Following the legalization of same-sex marriage in Sweden in May 2009, the Church of Sweden decided in October 2009 to start conducting same-sex weddings in their churches. It had previously blessed same-sex couples using a different ceremony.
Reformed churches in Switzerland
- Reformed Church of Aargau
- Reformed Churches of the Canton Bern-Jura-Solothurn
- Evangelical-Reformed Church of Graubünden
- Evangelical Reformed Church of the Canton of Lucerne
- Evangelical Reformed Church of the Canton of St. Gallen
- Evangelical Reformed Church of the Canton of Schaffhausen
- Chiesa evangelica riformata nel Ticino
- Evangelical Church of the Canton of Thurgau
- Evangelical Reformed Church of the Canton of Vaud
- Evangelical Reformed Church of the Canton of Zürich
The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America began officially allowing blessings of same-sex couples in late August, 2009—though there were no explicit prohibitions before this point. Studies and dialogue had been under way during the past decade and continued until the 2009 Churchwide Assembly, during which the ELCA passed a resolution by a vote of 619–402 reading "Resolved, that the ELCA commit itself to finding ways to allow congregations that choose to do so to recognize, support and hold publicly accountable lifelong, monogamous, same-gender relationships." That Assembly also affirmed that sexual orientation, in itself, is not to be a qualification or exclusion for ordained ministry. As marriage policy is a congregation matter in the ELCA, same-sex partnership blessings and marriages had been performed by many Lutheran pastors prior to the 2009 actions. In 1993 the ELCA Conference of Bishops stated it did not approve of such ceremonies, but made no comment about same-sex marriage. (The Conference of Bishops is an advisory body of the ELCA.)
Lutheran congregations which so choose may register their public affirmation for gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender people may register with Lutherans Concerned/North America, a church advocacy group, as "Reconciling in Christ." This registry includes not only congregations, but synods, organizations, Lutheran colleges, campus ministries, social ministry institutions, Lutheran health care organizations, campus ministries, church colleges, regional synods and districts, and other groups which openly welcome gays and lesbians in their communities. The national Lutheran organization which advocates for equality for gays and lesbians inside and outside the church is known as "Lutherans concerned North America". Founded in 1974 Local chapters are found throughout the US and Canada.
In 2015, after the Supreme Court legalized same-sex marriage nationally in the US, the office of the presiding bishop released a letter informing members that each congregation is free to marry gay and lesbian couples or to choose not to do so.
The Old Catholic Church, Province of the United States (TOCCUSA) is a Catholic denomination founded on the ecclesiology of the Old Catholics of the Union of Utrecht. Old Catholics are progressive when it comes to social issues, yet maintain the rich tradition of the sacramental nature of the Catholic Church. All seven sacraments of the Church are open to any baptized Catholic Christian. For TOCCUSA, the sacramental nature of same sex marriages is recognized, thus ensuring that there is no distinction between the marriages of two persons of the same gender or two persons of opposite genders. Couples wishing to marry must undergo some pre-marital counseling before the marriage rite takes place.
Church of Scotland
The 2006 General Assembly of the Church of Scotland voted that blessing civil partnerships should be a matter of conscience for individual ministers. Conservatives in the Kirk argued that the reform would have to be ratified by local presbyteries. When the 45 Presbyteries were consulted, only nine voted in favour of allowing ministers to bless civil-partnered (same-sex) couples, and the remaining 36 were against the innovation. Therefore, it was defeated, and is due to be addressed again at the 2013 General Assembly. At its 2011 General Assembly, the Church of Scotland voted to allow openly gay and lesbian Ministers and Diaconal ministers who live in civil unions, provided that they were already ordained and had declared their sexuality before the Scott Rennie case on 23 May 2009. There remains, however, a Moratorium on accepting those in same-sex relationships for training, ordination or induction into the Ministry or Diaconate, which may be lifted by the General Assembly of 2013. When asked to respond to the Scottish Government's consultation on same-sex marriage, the Church's Legal Questions Committee submitted a response which upheld a biblical and traditional understanding of marriage as a voluntary lifelong union between one man and one woman (December 2011). After this, the Church's first openly gay minister, Revd. Scott Rennie, claimed to the press that such ostracisation of homosexuals will empty churches.
In 2016, the General Assembly voted in favor of allowing ministers to enter into same-sex marriages. On 25 May 2017, the General Assymbly voted in favor of allowing same-sex marriages in Church of Scotland. In May 2018, the General Assembly passed a vote by 345 to 170, for a motion which tasked a committee with drafting church law on the issue of same-sex marriage. Its legal question committee has been asked to report back to the decision-making body in 2020.
Presbyterian Church in Ireland
In May 2006, a church spokesperson announced that clergy could bless same-gender partnerships. However, that announcement was reversed by General Assembly when it voted to ban its ministers from blessing same-gender partnerships in June 2006. The Presbyterian Church in Ireland is currently strongly opposed to same sex marriage.
Presbyterian Church (USA)
The Presbyterian Church USA General Assembly Permanent Judicial Commission ruled in 2006 that same-sex ceremonies are not forbidden, as long as they are not considered to be the same as marriage services. Debate on the issue within the church evolved over the years. In 2000, the General Assembly had approved language for the church constitution that stated church teachings were that people were "to live either in fidelity within the covenant of marriage between a man and a woman or in chastity in singleness.," and barred church officers and property from being used for blessing or approval upon any other form of fidelity relationship, but ratification for this language was never obtained by the presbyteries. By 2014, the General Assembly passed an Authoritative Interpretation permitting pastors to sign marriage licences for same-gender couples where permitted by civil law in the states where their church was found, which took immediate effect.
On March 17, 2015, ratification by a majority of presbyteries was reached on a constitutional amendment passed by that same 2014 General Assembly, which broadened the definition of marriage in the Directory for Worship from only being between "a man and a woman," to "two people, traditionally a man and a woman," thus giving official sanction to, while not making it mandatory for, any congregation's pastor to preside over and bless marriage ceremonies for same-gender couples.
There are a variety of responses within Methodism some of which have been favorable to a greater or lesser extent to same-sex unions or marriages.
Methodist Church of Great Britain
In 2005, the Methodist Church of Great Britain voted to allow a local option for ministers who wish to perform same-sex blessings, with a Church spokesperson stating that "We have decided, with the law changing in December, we as a Church need to provide guidance to our ministers, who will be allowed to take an individual decision as to whether or not they want to bless gay couples." In 2006, the Church reversed itself and prohibited the blessing of same-sex unions on or off church property. Ministers are still at liberty to offer informal, private prayers for such couples.
In Juliy 2019, the Methodist Church of Great Britain allowed blessings of same-sex marriages.
United Methodist Church
On May 7, 2018 the Bishops in the United Methodist Church, a denomination long divided on questions of LGBT equality, have proposed allowing individual pastors and regional church bodies to decide whether to ordain LGBT clergy and perform same-sex weddings. The United Methodist Church prohibited until 2018 celebrations of same-sex unions by its elders and in its churches. However, while "clergy cannot preside over the wedding ceremony...bishops say, clergy can assist same-gender couples in finding other venues for their wedding; provide pre-marital counseling; attend the ceremony; read Scripture, pray or offer a homily". Moreover, the church approved spousal benefits for non-ordained employees in same-sex marriages in states that allow such marriages.
The church does not nationally allow the ordination of gay or lesbian pastors, but some Jurisdictions and Annual Conferences have begun to ordain gay and lesbian pastors and same-sex marriages or have passed resolutions supporting such ceremonies. The Baltimore-Washington, California-Nevada, California-Pacific, Desert Southwest, Detroit, Greater New Jersey, Great Plains, Illinois Great Rivers, Iowa, Minnesota, New England, New York, Northern Illinois, Oregon-Idaho, Pacific Northwest, Rocky Mountain, Southwest Texas, Upper New York, Virginia, West Michigan, and Wisconsin Annual Conferences have passed resolutions supporting same-sex couples or the ordination of gay and lesbian clergy.
In 2016, the New York Annual Conference ordained the denomination's first openly gay and lesbian clergy. Following those ordinations, the Western Jurisdiction elected and consecrated the church's first openly gay and partnered bishop.
African Methodist Episcopal Church
The African Methodist Episcopal Church, which is in full communion with the UMC, currently prohibits its ministers from officiating same-sex weddings, but it does not have an official policy on gay pastors and, therefore, gay ministers have been ordained in the AME.
Evangelical Methodist Church in Argentina
Evangelical Methodist Church in Uruguay
The Evangelical Church in Uruguay, a Methodist denomination, has "resolved that pastors that wish to minister to homosexuals may do so freely". Each pastor is free to provide blessing services for same-sex unions if he or she chooses to do so.
Methodist Church of New Zealand
The Alliance of Baptists has in the past supported the legal right to marry; its position on corollary church services is unclear. The Cooperative Baptist Fellowship nationally opposes same-sex marriage, but its local congregations remain free to discern the issue for themselves and many congregations have pledged to perform same-sex weddings. Additionally, congregations of the American Baptist Churches USA are locally autonomous and free to support same-sex marriages if they so choose.
The first recorded same sex marriage by a Quaker meeting in the US was in 1987. In January, 1987, Morningside Monthly Meeting of the Society of Friends, in the Morningside Heights neighborhood of New York City, became the first Quaker Meeting to treat same-sex marriage and opposite-sex marriage equally, and the first to take a same-sex marriage (using the word marriage, rather than "commitment ceremony") under its care with the marriage of John Bohne and William McCann on May 30, 1987.
Same-sex couples have been married under the care of many "unprogrammed" Quaker meetings in Canada since 1992. In Australia, Canberra Quaker meeting celebrated the marriage of two gay men on 15 April 2007. Australian Quakers are prepared to celebrate same-sex marriages despite the lack of legal recognition. See Quaker views of homosexuality
In 2009, the Yearly Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers) in Great Britain, the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man decided to authorise same-sex marriage, having previously performed blessings for same-sex civil partnerships. In Australia, the 2010 Yearly Meeting called on the Federal Government to amend the Australian Marriage Act to give full and equal legal recognition to all marriages, regardless of the sexual orientation and gender of the partners. Australian Quakers had been blessing same-sex unions since 1994. The Canada Yearly Meeting stated in 2003 that Canadian Quakers "support the right of same-sex couples to a civil marriage and the extension of the legal definition of marriage to include same-sex couples." Since then a number of same-sex marriages have been performed at Canadian Monthly Meetings. In New Zealand, the Aotearoa Quaker Meeting in 1995 pledged "to seek formal ways of recognizing a variety of commitments, including gay and lesbian partnerships."
United Church of Christ
Varies by church. The General Synod of the United Church of Christ has passed a resolution affirming "equal marriage rights for couples regardless of gender and declares that the government should not interfere with couples regardless of gender who choose to marry and share fully and equally in the rights, responsibilities and commitment of legally recognized marriage". At its 25th General Synod in 2005, the UCC passed the resolution, "Equal Marriage Rights for All". However, the polity of the UCC is congregationalist, so of each church has a different way of operating. (The General Synod does not have authority over Local Churches to determine or enforce denominational doctrine)
Canadian Unitarian Council
Canadian Unitarian churches perform same-sex marriage as well.
Unitarian Universalist Association
Metropolitan Community Church
The predominantly gay Universal Fellowship of Metropolitan Community Churches performs same-sex marriages.
Most Pentecostal churches do not affirm gay marriage.
The Affirming Pentecostal Church International and the Global Alliance of Affirming Apostolic Pentecostals are US based denominations of Oneness Pentecostals that will perform weddings for both heterosexual and same-sex couples.
Christian Church (Disciples of Christ)
Mixed-polity and other polity
Moravian Church (North America)
The Moravian Church in North America's Northern Province has passed several liberal resolutions on homosexuality, but has not yet been able to "address the issue of a marriage covenant between homosexual persons".
The Swedenborgian Church of North America allows ministers to choose whether to perform same-sex marriages. Ministers of the General Church of the New Jerusalem are not permitted to marry or bless same-sex unions.
Uniting Church in Australia
In Australia the Uniting Church in Australia allows blessing of same-sex unions. On 13 July 2018, the Uniting Church in Australia voted by national Assembly to approve the creation of official marriage rites for same-sex couples.
Protestant Church in the Netherlands
The Protestant Church in the Netherlands has chosen not to address marriage in its post-merger canon law; however, the by-laws of the church allow for the blessing of relationships outside of marriage.
Due to its "local option", a number of congregations and ministers of the United Church of Canada (a merger of Congregationalist, Presbyterian and Methodist congregations in Canada following presbyterian polity) officiate at same-sex marriages, which are fully legal in Canada.
New Apostolic Church
Churches with policies that distinguish between same-sex unions and marriage
By nature of this religious understanding of marriage, when churches use the term "Union" in a same-sex blessing ceremony, they may or may not be blessing this union in an equivalent way as they would bless a "marriage" as opposed to blessing the commitment between the two individuals. Some Christian bodies are exploring the manner in which same-sex couples could or should be blessed (or not) by the church. Because same-sex religious unions are not widespread and because civil unions do not require religious officiation, documentation of the incidence of church blessing of same-sex couples is difficult.
Roman Catholic Church
During the 1990s, a discussion began in the Roman Catholic Church about blessings for same-sex unions. Central teaching remains clear that such unions can in no ways be sanctioned by the Catholic Church. However, there are exceptions when individual priests carry out informal blessings. They risk being disciplined if the blessing is discovered. Notable numbers of German clerics have openly disobeyed this teaching:
- In the Roman Catholic Diocese of Aachen in Germany, five same-sex unions received a blessing in German town of Mönchengladbach.
- In 2007, one same-sex union received a blessing in German town of Wetzlar in the Roman Catholic Diocese of Limburg.
- In October 2014 a blessing of a same-sex union took place in Bürglen, Uri, Switzerland. The priest subsequently made a public apology.
- A blessing of a same-sex union, equivalent to marriage except name, took place by a Catholic Dominican priest in Malta in 2015.
- In May 2015 the Central Committee of German Catholics voted in favour of blessing of same-sex unions.
- In 2015, Belgian bishop Johan Bonny from Antwerpen supported blessing of same-sex marriages.
- In 2017, the association We are Church supported blessing of same-sex marriages.
- In January 2018 German bishop Franz-Josef Bode of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Osnabrück said in an interview with German journalists, that the blessing of same-sex unions is possible in German Roman Catholic churches.
- In February 2018, Cardinal Reinhard Marx, Archbishop of Munich and Freising and chairman of the German Bishops' Conference, said in an interview with German journalists that the blessing of same-sex unions is possible in German Roman Catholic churches. In Austria blessing of same-sex unions are allowed in Roman Catholic Diocese of Linz.
- In the Roman Catholic Diocese of Aachen over fifty blessings of same-sex unions have been held in recent years.
- In German Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Paderborn blessings of same-sex unions were allowed in Dortmund.
- In September 2019, in Swiss Roman Catholic Diocese of Basel blessings of same-sex marriages were allowed from bishop Felix Gmür.
- in May 2020, Austrian Romac catholic theologian Ewald Volgger published with support of Roman Catholic bishop Franz Lackner a book The benediction of same sex partnerships with liturgical advices, how a worship for blessings of same-sex partnerships can be.
- in April/June 2020 Roman Catholic German bishops Helmut Dieser from Roman Catholic Diocese of Aachen and Georg Bätzing from Roman Catholic Diocese of Limburg said, blessings of same-sex unions in Roman Catholic church should be allowed.
- In September 2020, bishop Heinrich Timmerevers from Roman Catholic Diocese of Dresden-Meissen supported blessing of same-sex marriages in Roman Catholic church.
- in February 2021. bishop Peter Kohlgraf from Roman Catholic Diocese of Mainz supported blessing of same-sex marriages in Roman Catholic church.
Churches with no policy on the unions
The United Church of Christ has no formal rules requiring or prohibiting solemnization of wedding vows, but owing to its Congregational polity and constitution, each Local Church is "autonomous in the management of its own affairs" and has the "right to operate in the way customary to it"; it cannot be "abridge[d] or impair[ed]" by other UCC agencies, and so each congregation has the freedom to bless or prohibit any kind of marriage or relationship in whatever way they discern appropriate. Thus a congregation may choose at their discretion to solemnise same-sex marriages, to bless same-sex unions, or refuse to perform any ceremony for same-sex couples, or refuse to perform any kind of marriage for anyone. There are no available statistics on how many UCC congregations solemnize same-sex relationships, but there are documented cases where this happens and documented cases where congregations have taken stands against marriage between same-gender couples.
Among Baptists, The American Baptist Churches USA allows each congregation to decide for itself. Also, "the National Baptist Convention USA Inc. does not have an "official" position on any issues with regards to homosexuality". Each congregation is autonomous in the National Baptist Convention USA Inc.. Likewise, the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship recognizes the autonomy of each local congregation on these issues.
- Christian Grethlein: Grundinformation Kasualien. Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, Göttingen 2007, ISBN 978-3-525-03620-4. Darin: Segnung anlässlich einer Eingetragenen Partnerschaft? p. 265f.
- Wolfgang Schürger: Segnung von gleichgeschlechtlichen Paaren. Bausteine und Erfahrungen. Gütersloher Verlagshaus. Gütersloh 2002. ISBN 3-579-05560-7.
- Segnung von Paaren in eingetragener Lebenspartnerschaft. Materialien für den Gottesdienst (Evangelical Church of Hesse Electorate-Waldeck), Kassel 2013. ISBN 978-3-89477-884-2
- Die Feier der Partnerschaftssegnung im Katholischen Bistum der Alt-Katholiken in Deutschland, Für den gottesdienstlichen Gebrauch erarbeitet durch die Liturgische Kommission und herausgegeben von Bischof und Synodalvertretung, Alt-Katholischer Bistumsverlag, Bonn 2014, ISBN 978-3-934610-91-0.
- Paare.Riten.Kirche. Arbeitsgemeinschaft für römisch-katholische Familienbildung (akf). Germany 2020, ISBN: 978-3-89710-861-5.
- Adelphopoiesis ("brother-making")
- List of Christian denominational positions on homosexuality
- List of Christian denominations affirming LGBT
- Status of same-sex marriage
- Marriage privatization
- LGBT-affirming religious groups
- Institute for Progressive Christianity (instituteforprogressivechristianity.org/joomla/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=37&Itemid=36) link inactive as of 2008-05-10
- Hope Remains
- Gay and Christian? Yes!, pp. 1–70, Rev. William H. Carey, 2006, 2008 Lulu.com
- Good News for Modern Gays, pp. 1–213, Rev. Sylvia Pennington, 1985 Lambda Lite Productions
- Streitfall Liebe - Biblische Plädoyers wider die Ausgrenzung homosexuelller Menschen, Valeria Hinck, Mering : Pro-Literatur-Verlag 2007 http://d-nb.info/984453415
- The Windsor Report was the subject of a special issue of the Anglican Theological Review (Volume 87, no. 4, 2005), which contained sharp criticism, historical analysis, and more appreciative articles from a broad spectrum of theologians.
- "The Lambeth Commission on Communion". Anglican Communion. Retrieved 2007-05-13.
- "Church split over homosexuality would be a failure - Welby - BBC News". Retrieved 2016-08-02.
- Coward, Colin (11 June 2004). "Canadian Church defers blessing decision and affirms adult same-sex relationships". Changing Attitude – Anglican Communion News. Archived from the original on 2007-09-27. Retrieved 2007-05-13.
- "Chronology of Actions taken by the Anglican Church Of Canada & the Diocese of New Westminster in regard to the Issue of Same-Sex Unions". Diocese of New Westminster (Anglican). Archived from the original on 2007-05-18. Retrieved 2007-05-13.
- Michael Ingham, Bishop. "Welcome from the Bishop". Diocese of New Westminster (Anglican). Retrieved 2007-05-13.
- Marites N. Sison, Staff Writer. "Diocese of Niagara to Offer Same-Sex Blessings". Anglican Journal. Retrieved 2011-09-03.[dead link]
- John Chapman, Bishop. "Same-Gender Blessings - Excerpt from the Bishop's Charge to Synod 2009" (PDF). Montreal Anglican. Retrieved 2011-09-05.[permanent dead link]
- Staff. "Bishop approves liturgy for blessing civil marriages" (PDF). Montreal Anglican. Retrieved 2011-09-05.[permanent dead link]
- College of Bishops. "Pastoral Guidelines for the Blessing of Same Gender Commitments". Anglican Diocese of Toronto. Retrieved 2011-09-05.
- CBC:Anglicans to allow same-sex marriage after vote recount
- "Anglicans discover mistake in same-sex marriage vote, leading to stunning reversal | Toronto Star". thestar.com. Retrieved 2016-08-02.
- Episcopal News Service staff, "General Convention wrap-up: Historic actions, structural changes" (July 7, 2015). Online at http://episcopaldigitalnetwork.com/ens/2015/07/07/general-convention-wrap-up-historic-actions-structural-changes/ Archived 2016-02-15 at the Wayback Machine.
- Journal of the General Convention of The Episcopal Church, Minneapolis 1976 (New York: General Convention, 1977), C-109. Online at http://www.episcopalarchives.org/cgi-bin/acts/acts_resolution.pl?resolution=1976-A069.
- Journal of the General Convention of The Episcopal Church, Columbus, 2006 (New York: General Convention, 2007), 669-670.
- Journal of the General Convention of The Episcopal Church, Columbus, 2006 (New York: General Convention, 2007), 669-670.
- Goodstein, Laurie (2009-07-16). "Episcopal Bishops Give Ground on Gay Marriage". The New York Times.
- "Gays make advances at Episcopal confab". Retrieved 10 July 2013.
- Goodstein, Laurie (2012-07-10). "Episcopalians Approve Rite to Bless Same-Sex Unions". The New York Times.
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2014-11-10. Retrieved 2014-11-10.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
- Sharon Sheridan, "General Convention approves marriage equality" (Episcopal News Service, July 1, 2015). Online at http://episcopaldigitalnetwork.com/ens/2015/07/01/general-convention-approves-marriage-equality/.
- Advocate.com:Church England plans blessing gay couples
- "cc-shooters-hill". cc-shooters-hill. Retrieved 2017-10-22.
- Bennett, John. "St Mary and St Nicolas - Prayers for Same Sex Couples". www.stmaryandstnicolas.org.uk. Retrieved 2016-12-24.
- "Weddings". St John's, Waterloo. Retrieved 2016-12-24.
- Bates, Stephen (2010-02-11). "Church of England General Synod extends pension rights for gay partners". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 2016-08-02.
- "Church of England says civil partnerships should not be abolished following gay marriage legalisation | Christian News on Christian Today". www.christiantoday.com. Retrieved 2016-12-24.
- "Another gay Anglican priest marries long-term partner | Christian News on Christian Today". www.christiantoday.com. Retrieved 2016-08-04.
- "Married gay priest elected to Church of England Synod". Retrieved 2016-08-04.
- "Church of England News: Secretary General responds to GAFCON UK". Church of England News. Retrieved 2017-06-02.
- Religious Affairs Correspondent, Kaya Burgess (2017-10-20). "Landmark vote piles pressure on Anglicans over same-sex marriage". The Times. ISSN 0140-0460. Retrieved 2017-10-22.
- May, Callum (2017-10-20). "Church to discuss same-sex blessing". BBC News. Retrieved 2017-10-22.
- Religious Affairs Correspondent, Kaya Burgess (2019-07-04). "Church accepts marriage between people of the same gender — with a catch". The Times. ISSN 0140-0460. Retrieved 2019-07-06.
- Swerling, Gabriella (2019-07-04). "Church of England will condone gay couples for first time - as long as they were man and wife when they took vows". The Telegraph. ISSN 0307-1235. Retrieved 2019-07-06.
- "Lesbian couple get church blessing.(News)". 2002-09-28. Archived from the original on 2012-10-23. Cite journal requires
- "Listening process vital to bring gay, lesbian clergy in from margins". The Irish Times. Retrieved 2017-06-02.
- "Minister Rev Tom Gordon civil partnership 'welcomed' - BBC News". Retrieved 2016-08-02.
- "Clergy Pension Fund: Explanatory Booklet" (PDF). ireland.anglican.org. Church of Ireland. April 2012. Retrieved December 24, 2016.
- "Church of Ireland challenged by report on homosexuality". Christian Today. Retrieved 2016-08-02.
- "Human Sexuality". Church of Ireland. Archived from the original on 2016-06-03. Retrieved 2016-08-02.
- Scottish Episcopal Church passes initial vote in favour of same-sex marriage
- "Same-sex wedding blessed in Dundee Cathedral". Archived from the original on 2016-08-15. Retrieved 2016-08-02.
- "Scottish Episcopal Church takes gay marriage step - BBC News". Retrieved 2016-08-02.
- Sherwood, Harriet (8 June 2017). "Scottish Episcopal church votes to allow same-sex weddings". the Guardian. Retrieved 27 July 2017.
- "Scottish Episcopal Church approves gay marriage". BBC News. 8 June 2017. Retrieved 6 August 2017.
- Perraudin, Frances (20 July 2017). "First same-sex marriage at Anglican church in UK to be held this summer". the Guardian. Retrieved 27 July 2017.
- "Britain's first Anglican same-sex marriage celebrated in a Scottish church". Religion News Service. 4 August 2017. Retrieved 6 August 2017.
- WalesOnline (2011-09-15). "Church in Wales looks at pension rights for clerics' partners". walesonline. Archived from the original on 2016-03-04. Retrieved 2017-06-02.
- "Leading Gay Cleric Jeffrey John Narrowly Rejected As Bishop In Wales | Christian News on Christian Today". www.christiantoday.com. Retrieved 2017-06-02.
- "Church in Wales shows support for same sex marriage | Christian News on Christian Today". www.christiantoday.com. Retrieved 2016-08-02.
- Anna, Morrell (2016-04-06). "Same-sex marriage statement". Retrieved 2016-08-02.
- "Same-sex marriage - The Church in Wales". The Church in Wales. Retrieved 2017-06-02.
- ABC.net: Anglicans in Perth vote to recognise same-sex marriages
- ABC.net: Bishop of Wangaratta supports same-sex marriages
- "Homosexuality". www.anglican.org.au. Retrieved 2016-08-02.
- "AD Clerum Changes to the Marriage Law". Scribd. Retrieved 2018-06-11.
- "No sanctions against Melbourne gay marriage priests". Anglican Ink 2018 ©. 2018-06-01. Retrieved 2018-06-11.
- Morgan, Shana (2018-06-25). "Church says blessings should be for same-sex love too". The Border Mail. Archived from the original on 2018-06-28. Retrieved 2018-06-28.
- "Perth Anglicans vote to recognise same-sex relationships". ABC News. 2013-10-07. Retrieved 2016-08-02.
- "Bishop defends gay priest appointment". abc.net.au. ABC. February 27, 2012. Retrieved August 2, 2016.
- MCCARTHY, JOANNE (2016-02-22). "Gay clergy 'tensions' before Anglican conference". Retrieved 2016-08-02.
- "Anglican priest running LGBTI parish service in Perth". ABC News. 2016-10-08. Retrieved 2016-12-10.
- Morgan, Shana (2018-04-13). "Anglican Church still 'equality-free zone' for same-sex couples". The Border Mail. Retrieved 2018-06-11.
- Morgan, Shana (2018-04-11). "Gary and Andy's hard-fought marriage becomes 'a very special day'". The Border Mail. Retrieved 2018-06-11.
- ThinkingAnglicans:New Zealand synod acts on same-gender blessings
- Quiqcorp. "Anglican Taonga : New Zealand's Anglican News Leader". anglicantaonga.org.nz. Retrieved 2017-06-02.
- "Saint Columba Church - Services". www.saintcolumbas.org.nz. Retrieved 2017-06-02.
- Taonga, New Zealand Ministry for Culture and Heritage Te Manatu. "Civil union, 2005". www.teara.govt.nz. Archived from the original on 2017-04-13. Retrieved 2017-06-02.
- "Liturgical Resources | CalledSouth". calledsouth.org.nz. Retrieved 2017-06-02.
- "Gay Marriage Coming to the Bay". BayBuzz. 2013-07-08. Retrieved 2017-06-02.
- NewsHub.com: Anglican Church will bless same-sex relationships
- "Global trend: World's oldest Protestant churches now ordain gays and lesbians". Retrieved 2016-08-02.
- "Anglican Church around the world". BBC. 2008-07-15. Retrieved 2016-08-02.
- "Anglican Church says yes to homosexuals". www.enca.com. Retrieved 2016-08-02.
- "Southern African synod to consider blessing same-sex civil unions". www.anglicannews.org. Retrieved 2017-10-22.
- "Bishops to decide on same-sex Anglicans | IOL News". Retrieved 2017-10-22.
- "South Africa Church plans to amend marriage Canon – ChurchNewspaper.com". www.churchnewspaper.com. Retrieved 2017-10-22.
- "More ructions in Anglican church over same-sex marriage | IOL News". Retrieved 2017-10-22.
- "Resolution of the Diocese of Cape Town on Ministry to Gays and Lesbians in Covenanted Partnerships". archbishop.anglicanchurchsa.org. Retrieved 2017-10-22.
- Guiame. "Anglicanos dividem opiniões sobre homossexualidade, Notícias Gospel" (in Portuguese). Retrieved 2016-08-02.
- "Primaz convoca GT sobre Gênero, Sexualidades e Direitos « SNIEAB". Archived from the original on 2016-08-19. Retrieved 2016-08-02.
- "IEAB synod adopts same-sex marriage canon". Anglican Ink 2018 ©. 2018-06-01. Archived from the original on 2018-06-05. Retrieved 2018-06-02.
- Christkatholiken: Segnung für homosexuelle Paare (German) Archived March 21, 2007, at the Wayback Machine
- Luzerner Zeitung.de: Christkatholische Kirche will gleichgeschlechtliche Paare vor dem Altar trauen (german), August 2020
- "Nu även för nya katoliker". Gammalkatolik.se. Retrieved 2013-08-16.
- "same-gender couples are welcome to celebrate the sacrament of matrimony".
- Jastreblansky, Maia (2 June 2010). "Una iglesia bendice a parejas gays que quieren dar el sí ante Dios" [A church blesses gay couples who want to marry before God]. La Nación (in Spanish). Buenos Aires. Retrieved 25 July 2012.
Sin embargo, no todas las iglesias protestantes tienen la misma postura. Este es el caso de los luteranos daneses, en cuyos templos se bendicen las uniones de parejas de un mismo sexo y desde la que que se apoya el casamiento gay en la Argentina. De hecho, en Buenos Aires, el pastor Andrés Roberto Albertsen, celebró de manera religiosa cinco uniones civiles entre personas de un mismo sexo y espera hacer lo mismo con los casamientos, en el caso de que sean habilitados en materia civil.
- Jastreblansky, Maia (2 June 2010). "Una iglesia bendice a parejas gays que quieren dar el sí ante Dios" [A church blesses gay couples who want to marry before God]. La Nación (in Spanish). Buenos Aires. Retrieved 25 July 2012.
Cuando en la ciudad de Buenos Aires se sancionó la ley de la unión civil de parejas homosexuales, adoptaron la misma postura que con el matrimonio civil heterosexual y, sin haberlo buscado, realizaron la primera ceremonia religiosa por la unión entre dos lesbianas de América latina. Aquel acontecimiento tuvo lugar a fines de 2006, cuando Virgina Cortés y Jessica Schmukler sellaron su amor de manera espiritual.
- "Resolution betreffend gleichgeschlechtlicher Partnerschaften" (PDF). evang.at. Evangelical Church A.u.H.B in Austria. 2009. Retrieved August 2, 2016.
- Kurier.at: Evangelische Kirche will homosexuelle Ehepaare künftig segnen (german)
- "HuK". Archived from the original on 2006-10-09. Retrieved 2006-09-20.
- Kurier.at: Evangelisch-reformierte Kirche in Österreich öffnet Trauung für homosexuelle Ehepaare (german)
- Verenigde Protestantse Kerk staat inzegening homohuwelijk toe
- "Sexual Orientation | The United Church of Canada". United-church.ca. 2013-06-24. Archived from the original on 2013-08-11. Retrieved 2013-08-16.
- Copenhagen Post, 23 November 2011: "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2011-11-30. Retrieved 2011-11-30.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
- "Making gay life in Iceland richer". Star Observer. Retrieved 2013-08-16.
- queer:Homoehen in schwedischen Kirchen (German)
- "Finland's State Church to Sanction Prayer for Gay Marriages - Towleroad". 2010-11-12. Retrieved 2016-08-02.
- "Laity drive Finnish Lutherans to recognize same-sex marriages". 2010-11-13. Retrieved 2016-08-02.
- "Radio France:French Protestant church authorises gay marriages, 2015". Archived from the original on 2015-07-24. Retrieved 2015-05-28.
- Saarbrücker Zeitung.de: Protestantische Kirche im Elsass und Lothringen erlaubt öffentliche Segnung gleichgeschlechtlicher Ehepaare, November 17, 2019 (german)
- "HUK: Möglichkeiten der kirchlichen Segnung gleichgeschlechtlicher Paare (german)". Archived from the original on 2017-06-17. Retrieved 2017-01-21.
- Evangelisch.de: Segnung homosexueller Paare, Bunt wie ein Regenbogen
- UEK: Ordnung für die Trauung von Ehepaaren gleichen Geschlechts (German), November 9, 2019
- "EKHN:Segnung gleichgeschlechtlicher Paare (german)". Archived from the original on 2016-04-10. Retrieved 2016-01-16.
- Evangelische Sonntagszeitung: Aus Segnung wird Trauung (german)
- Protestant Church of Bremen Archived June 23, 2007, at the Wayback Machine
- Protestant Lutheran State Church of Brunswick Archived August 22, 2007, at the Wayback Machine
- Evangelisch.de: Hannoversche Landeskirche will gleichgeschlechtliche Paare segnen (German)
- Evangelisch.de: Hannoversche Landeskirche öffnet Homosexuellen den Weg zum Traualtar (German)
- Nordkirche.de: Bericht zur Segnung eingetragener Lebenspartnerschaften (German)
- Queer.de:Nordkirche: Schwule und Lesben bekommen Recht auf Segnung
- Nordkirche.de: Segnung gleichgeschlechtlicher Paare ist Trauung (German)
- North Elbian Evangelical Church Archived 2007-09-28 at the Wayback Machine
- Synod of Evangelical Lutheran Church in Oldenburg Archived September 27, 2007, at the Wayback Machine
- NDR.de: Oldenburgische Kirche beschließt Trauuung für alle (German)
- Evangelical Church of Berlin-Brandenburg-Silesian Upper Lusatia (german) Archived 2007-09-27 at the Wayback Machine
- Tagesspiegel.de: Trauung in der Kirche ab 2016 möglich (german)
- Berliner Zeitung: Ab 1. Juli können gleichgeschlechtliche Paare heiraten wie Mann und Fra (german)
- EKVW:Lebenspartnerschaften (german) Archived May 10, 2007, at the Wayback Machine
- Landeskirche Westfalen:Neu: Trauung auch für gleichgeschlechtliche Ehepaare und konfessionslose Ehepartner, "Gottes Segen gilt für alle Ehepaare", 20 November 2019
- Evangelisch.de: Westfälische Kirche stellt Trauung von Homo-Paaren mit Ehe gleich, 20. November 2019
- Neue Westfälische Nachrichten: Landeskirche von Westfalen stellt Homosexuelle vor Traualtar gleich, 20 November 2019
- Protestant Church of the Palatinate (german) Archived September 15, 2005, at the Wayback Machine
- EKVW Archived May 10, 2007, at the Wayback Machine
- Spiegel.de: Synodenbeschluss: Evangelische Kirche im Rheinland will Homosexuelle trauen (german)
- Zeit.de: Rheinische Landeskirche traut Homosexuelle (german)
- Mitteldeutsche Zeitung:Gleichgeschlechtliche Paare können Verbindung segnen lassen (german) Archived 2012-07-07 at the Wayback Machine
- Evangelical Church in Central Germany (german)
- Evangelisch.de: Mitteldeutsche Landeskirche regelet Trauung homosexueller Ehepaare neu, November 29, 2019 (German)
- Wiesbadener Tagblatt:Synode billigt Segnung homosexueller Paare (german)[dead link]
- Osthessen-News:Synode für öffentliche Segnung von Paaren in eingetragenen Lebenspartnerschaft
- "EKKW.de:Traugesetz gilt in Kurhessen-Waldeck künftig auch für gleichgeschlechtliche Paare (german)". Archived from the original on 2018-05-09. Retrieved 2018-05-10.
- Grafschafter Nachrichten:Die Kirche hat ein Zeichen gesetzt
- "Reformiert.de: Trauung auch für homosexuelle Paare (german)". Archived from the original on 2017-12-01. Retrieved 2017-12-05.
- UnsereKirche.de:Synode in Lippe, Lippische Kirche erwägt Segnung von Homo-Paaren (German)
- Segnungsgottesdienste, Landessynode beschließt: Segnung für Menschen in eingetragener Lebenspartnerschaft in öffentlichem Gottesdienst möglich (German)
- Evangelisch.de: Segnung homosexueller Paare, Bunt wie ein Regenbogen (German)
- Stuttgarter Zeitung:Landessynode genehmigt Homo-Trauungen
- Badische Zeitung:Landeskirche genehmigt gleichgeschlechtliche Trauungen
- Evlks.de:"Segnung von Paaren in Eingetragener Lebenspartnerschaft" in Sachsen möglich (German) Archived 2016-10-19 at the Wayback Machine, 18 October 2016
- Bayrischer Rundfunk: Landessynode beschließt Segnung von homosexuellen Paaren (german)
- Stuttgarter Nachrichten: Landessynode erlaubt Segnungsgottesdienste für homosexuelle Paare (german), March 23, 2019
- NDR.de: Landeskirche Schaumburg-Lippe segnet nun homosexuelle Ehepaare (German) November 21, 2020
- epd.de: Landeskirche führt Segnungsgottesdienste für homosexuelle Paare ein (German), November 21, 2020
- IcelandReview: First Lesbian Couple in Iceland "Marries" in Church
- (in Italian) Coppie gay, storica apertura della Chiesa valdese. Ma si aspetta ancora una legge
- "The Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Italy says yes to the blessing of same-sex couples". Changing Attitude. Archived from the original on 22 July 2015. Retrieved 23 July 2015.
- Norway Moves To Legalize Gay Marriage Archived March 17, 2008, at the Wayback Machine
- NRK. "Kirkemøtet sier ja til likekjønnet ekteskap". NRK. Retrieved 2016-05-22.
- Church of Sweden says yes to gay marriage Archived January 11, 2012, at the Wayback Machine, The Local.
- Sweden church allows gay weddings
- Tagblatt.ch: Reformierte in der Ostschweiz fürchten Kirchenspaltunf wegen Ehe für alle (german)
- Reformierte Landeskirche Aargau: Homosexualität und Kirche nach fünf Jahren ausdiskutiert Archived 2012-09-15 at Archive.today (German)
- Aargauer Zeitung.ch: Die reformierte Kirche im Aaargau unterstützt die Ehe für alle (german), September 20, 2019.
- Reformierte Kirchen Bern-Jura-Solothurn: Feiern in besonderen Lebenslagen Archived 2003-08-23 at the Wayback Machine (German)
- "Reformiert.info; Eine Frage des Liebesgebotes (German)". Archived from the original on 2016-03-04. Retrieved 2016-03-01.
- Kirchenordnung der Evangelisch-Reformierten Kirche des Kantons Luzern, § 37
- Fürbittgottesdienste für Personen in besonderen Lebenssituationen (pdf-Dokument), German Archived 2016-03-04 at the Wayback Machine
- Entwurf zur Kirchenordnung der Evangelisch-reformierten Kirche des Kantons Schaffhausen, Art. 41 (PDF; 168 kB) (German)
- ref.ch: TI, Synode spricht sich für Segnung homosexueller Paare aus (German)
- Reformierte TG: Segensfeier für gleichgeschlechtliche Paare möglich (German)
- Reformierte VD: Neu Feiern für gleichgeschlechtliche Paare (German)
- Evangelisch-reformierte Landeskirche des Kantons Zürich: Rituale für homosexuelle Paare Archived 2007-09-27 at Archive.today (German)
- SRF.ch: Eine Landeskirche outet sich, «Ehe für alle» sorgt kirchenintern für Unmut (german), August 8, 2019
- Kirchenbund.de: Rat des Kirchenbundes befürwortet die Öffnung der Ehe für gleichgeschlechtliche Paare (german) Archived 2019-08-30 at the Wayback Machine, August 29, 2018
- United Reformed Church:United Reformed Church votes to host same-sex civil partnerships
- BBC: United Reformed Church approves gay marriage services
- Brief Summary of Actions, Eleventh ELCA Churchwide Assembly Archived July 9, 2010, at the Wayback Machine
- Later ELCA Assemblies Address Hunger, Stewardship, Sexuality[permanent dead link]
- LC/NA: Reconciling in Christ Participants
- Lutherans Concerned/North America
- "ELCA presiding bishop offers letter on Supreme Court marriage ruling". www.elca.org. Retrieved 2016-08-21.
- Hamilton, Fiona (2006-05-28). "Row over samesex marriage rages on". The Times. London. Retrieved 2010-04-26.
- "Special Commission on Same-Sex Relationships and the Ministry - Frequently Asked Questions" (PDF). The Church of Scotland. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2013-08-15. Retrieved 2012-06-20.
- "Church of Scotland 2012 General Assembly: Gay marriage to expose Kirk divisions". Scotland on Sunday. 20 May 2012.
- Association, Press (2016-05-21). "Church of Scotland votes to allow ministers to be in same-sex marriages". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 2016-08-02.
- BBC:Kirk's General Assembly moves towards allowing gay marriage, 25 May 2017
- Kirk moves closer to gay marriage services. BBC NEWS. Published 19 May 2018. Retrieved 23 May 2018.
- Crawley, William. "BBC - Will & Testament: Official: Irish Presbyterian Clergy Can Bless Gay Partners". Retrieved 2016-08-02.
- "Presbyterian church bans blessing of gay couples". Retrieved 2016-08-02.
- https://www.presbyterianireland.org/News/Article/2013-(1)/Presbyterians-Make-Clear-Their-Opposition-To-Same?feed=cfd8e3f5-88c6-46c8-9f48-6f31a698b9b7[permanent dead link]
- "wfn.org | [PCUSANEWS] Austin pastor won't be tried on gay 'marriage' accusation". Archived from the original on 2007-08-04. Retrieved 2006-07-31.
- Gledhill, Ruth (1 July 2005). "Methodists (in UK) will bless gays". The Times (of London). News Corporation. Retrieved 2007-09-08.
- "British Methodists reject blessing of same-sex relationships". The United Methodist Church. Archived from the original on October 23, 2007. Retrieved 2007-09-08.
- "Methodists may bless but not marry same-sex couples". www.churchtimes.co.uk. Retrieved 2016-08-02.
- "Frequently Asked Questions - Marriage and Relationships". www.methodist.org.uk. Retrieved 2016-08-02.
- Church Times: Methodists move towards conducting same-sex marriages, 4 July 2019.
- Advocate: Methodist Bishops Back Choice on LGBT Clergy, Same-Sex Marriage
- "What is the denomination's position on homosexuality?". The United Methodist Church. Archived from the original on 2014-09-09. Retrieved 2007-06-24.
- Communications, United Methodist. "Bishops offer advice after gay marriage ruling - The United Methodist Church". The United Methodist Church. Archived from the original on 2016-06-11. Retrieved 2016-08-02.
- Service, Lauren Markoe Religion News (2014-04-29). "Methodist Church Approves Same-Sex Marriage Benefits". The Huffington Post. Retrieved 2016-08-02.
- "Methodists approve same-sex marriage benefits". Religion News Service. Retrieved 2016-08-02.
- "New England, South Georgia differ on gay clergy". www.nyac.com. Retrieved 2016-08-02.
- Communications, United Methodist. "Conferences reject church's stance on gays - The United Methodist Church". The United Methodist Church. Retrieved 2016-08-02.
- "Annual conferences report | gbcs". umc-gbcs.org. Archived from the original on 2016-08-14. Retrieved 2016-08-02.
- "27 Ordained, Commissioned in "Historic" Service". www.nyac.com. Retrieved 2016-08-02.
- Communications, United Methodist. "Western Jurisdiction elects openly gay United Methodist bishop - The United Methodist Church". The United Methodist Church. Archived from the original on 2016-07-17. Retrieved 2016-08-02.
- Hahn, Heather. "Gay pastor's removal brings sadness, defiance". www.umc.org. United Methodist Church. Retrieved November 26, 2015.
- "Hay libertad para acompañar a las parejas homosexuales". Retrieved 2016-08-02.
- "DISCRIMINACIÓN SEXUAL: AVANCES Y RETROCESOS DE LAS IGLESIAS PROTESTANTES HISTÓRICAS - La Otra Voz Digital". Retrieved 2016-08-02.
- "Bendecidos por el clérigo Frontán" (in Spanish). 2015-05-31. Archived from the original on 2016-06-30. Retrieved 2016-08-02.
- "Methodists say yes to ordaining homosexuals". New Zealand Herald. 2004-09-15. ISSN 1170-0777. Retrieved 2016-08-02.
- Same Sex Union
- Ring, Trudy. "Historic South Carolina Baptist Church Becomes LGBT-Affirming". The Advocate. The Advocate. Retrieved November 26, 2015.
- Roach, David. "Gay marriage: mainline denominations affirm SCOTUS". Baptist Press. Baptist Press. Retrieved November 26, 2015.
- Leuze, Sarah (May 2002). "Morningside Meeting: A Historical Sketch". Archived from the original on 26 November 2013. Retrieved 22 August 2012.
-  Archived September 22, 2007, at the Wayback Machine
- Canberra Quakers: Newsletter of the Religious Society of Friends Canberra Region, May 2007, p2
- First Quaker gay marriage in Australia
- Australian Quakers and homosexuality Archived July 9, 2007, at the Wayback Machine
- Gay and lesbian people in the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers) in Australia Archived August 29, 2007, at the Wayback Machine
- Quakers call for legal recognition of same sex marriages
- Guardian:Quakers make the right decision
- "Quakers 'to allow gay marriages'". BBC News. 2009-07-30.
- "Quakers call for legal recognition of same sex marriages". Newsmaker. 2010-01-11. Retrieved 2012-07-10.
- Canadian Friends Service Committee (Quakers). "Letter to Members of the House of Commons and of the Senate". Retrieved 2012-07-10.
- Religious Tolerance.org. "Statements by the Society of Friends (Quakers)". Retrieved 2012-07-10.
- "Marriage Equality". Ucc.org. Retrieved 2013-08-16.
- UCC Constitution and Bylaws. Paragraph 9 in Article V (Local churches) of the UCC Constitution states that "The basic unit of the life and organization of the United Church of Christ is the Local Church." Paragraph 18 in the same article enshrines local church autonomy, and says: "Nothing in this constitution and the Bylaws of the United Church of Christ shall destroy or limit the right of each Local Church to continue to operate in the way customary to it; nor shall be construed as giving to the General Synod, or to any Conference or Association now, or at any future time, the power to abridge or impair the autonomy of any Local Church in the management of its own affairs."
- Weddings | Canadian Unitarian Council
- UUA: Marriage Equality
- UUA: Support of the Right to Marry for Same-Sex Couples – 1996 Resolution of Immediate of Witness
- MCC:Marriage=Equality Archived October 10, 2007, at the Wayback Machine
-  Archived October 5, 2008, at the Wayback Machine
- Mennonite Church Canada:First MC Canada-officiated same-sex marriage, Jun1, 2015
- Trouw.nl:Remonstranten en Boomsma krijgen homo-emancipatieprijs Archived January 5, 2016, at the Wayback Machine
- "Otherwise, their beliefs and practices are similar to those of other conservative Christians. They strongly oppose abortion access, equality for sexual minorities, and same-sex marriage."
- GAAAP Archived 2011-09-03 at the Wayback Machine
- Welt.de:Lesbisches Paar heiratet nach 72 Jahren (german)
- Queer.de:Zum Heiraten ist es nie zu spät (German)
-  Archived June 16, 2006, at the Wayback Machine
- Swedenborg.org Archived March 24, 2006, at the Wayback Machine
- General Church Clergy Handbook, p31
- UnitingNetworkAustralia Archived 2011-02-18 at the Wayback Machine
- Sandeman, John (13 July 2018). "Uniting Church to hold same sex marriages". Eternity. Australia. Retrieved 13 July 2018.
- ProtestantChurch.nl Archived 2007-03-11 at the Wayback Machine, the Church's official website
- NAK:Segensgebet für eingetragene Partnerschaften (german)
- Report to the General Convention on the Blessing of Same-Sex Relationships Archived September 24, 2006, at the Wayback Machine
- Spiegel:Riskanter Segen für gleichgeschlechtliche Paare (in German)
- Frankfurter Rundschau:Dakan muß gehen wegen Trauung eines homosexuellen Paares (in German)
- nachrichten.at: Römisch-katholischer Priester segnete lesbisches Paar (german)
- Grichting, Martin; Bucheli, Wendelin (28 April 2015). "Einigung betreffend die Pfarrei Bürglen". Diocese of Chur (in German). Retrieved 4 June 2016.
- Independent: Priest blesses rings at gay vouple engagement ceremony
- Bayerischer Rundfunk: Segnung von Homo-Ehen gefordert (German) Archived 2016-01-10 at the Wayback Machine
- Religionnews: Belgian bishop Johan Bonny says catholic church should blrss same-sex couples, 2015
- Zeit.de: Und wie reagieren die Kirchen?, 2017 (german)
- NDR.de: Bischof für Segnung von homosexuellen Paaren (German), 10 January 2018
- Bayrischer Rundfunk.de: "Segnung homosexueller Paare ist möglich"
- Spiegel.de: Kardinal Marx stellt Segnung homosexueller Paare in Aussicht
- Queer.de:Zum Valentinstag: Katholische Diözese segnet auch Homo-Paare(german)
- Evangelisch.de: Inofiziell segnen katholische Pfarrer immer wieder homosexuelle Paare (german)
- evangelisch.de: "Ich finde, dieses Anliegen kann man nicht ignorieren" (german)
- Advocate.com: Swiss Catholic Diocese OK With Marriage Equality, Sort Of, 16 September 2019
- NesWaysMinistry: Archdiocese of Salzburg Publishes New Book on Church Blessings for Same-Gender Couples
- Domradio.de: Reformen im Blick, 11. Juni 2020
- NovenaNews: German Bishops’ head: "If a gay couple lives with faithfulness, can’t we say their relationship is blessed by God?", 14. April 2020
- FAZ.net: Das Leben wird wieder aufblühen, 14. April 2020
- Katholisch.de: Bischof Timmerevers befürwortet Segnung homosexueller Paare , 28 September 2020
- Katholisch.de: Kohlgraf: Homosexuelle Paare begleiten statt verurteilen, 3 February 2021
- See http://www.ucc.org/aboutus/constitution.htm#LOCAL Archived 2006-11-29 at the Wayback Machine
-  Archived October 10, 2006, at the Wayback Machine
- See "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2005-12-01. Retrieved 2006-10-15.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
- "Gay marriage: mainline denominations affirm SCOTUS". Baptist Press. Retrieved 2016-08-02.
- "National Baptist Convention - Envisioning the Future Exceptionally - Baptist Denomination & Doctrines FAQs". www.nationalbaptist.com. Archived from the original on 2014-12-05. Retrieved 2016-08-02.
- McGuffin, Carrie. "Core Values - Cooperative Baptist Fellowship". www.cbf.net. Archived from the original on 2016-08-07. Retrieved 2016-08-02.
- "Disciples congregation votes to change its policy on marriage - Christian Church (Disciples of Christ)". 2011-05-18. Retrieved 2016-08-02.
- Katholisch.de: Autoren: Können Partnerschaften nicht auf das Ehe-Sakrament begrenzen, 2020
- AKF-Bonn.de: Paare.Riten.Kirche
- Text of the Liturgy
- Anglican Communion – On public Rites of Blessing of same-sex unions
- The Episcopal Church USA General Convention 2003 – Publications
- (German) Evangelical Church in Hesse
- Decision for blessing in Evangelical Lutheran Church in Northelbia (German)